I had the privilege of training learners in the unit standard 'Facilitate Learning Using a Variety of Methodologies'. This training was facilitated to learners who have been unemployed for more than twelve months, with more than 90% being matriculants. My main concern at the onset was how I was going to simplify the facilitation process for people who are not practitioners, who do not have much experience in the field of training and development and who may not have the confidence of those who have been in the workplace for many years.
On the first day I asked each learner to come to the front and introduce themselves and tell us what they were expecting out of the course. About fifty percent of the room appeared to be composed and confident whilst the other fifty percent came across timid, scared and almost inaudible. I knew I had my work cut out for me as I realised that there was much work to be done.
Fortunately I was facilitating for five days and at the end each learner would. have the opportunity to present a short course/presentation. My thoughts went straight to the fifty percent that were timid and I wondered how we were going to get through the week. By the second day I had already started telling them they needed to think about what they were going to present. In addition to that I reminded them of what they would be assessed on.
I already had a very large group 28 in total and was wondering how I was going to ensure each of them had a twenty minute slot. We managed to schedule each one and started the presentations in the afternoon of the third day of the training.
As each presented I marvelled at the growth in such a short space of time. Some of those who were extremely shy presented the most interesting topics. But the star of them all was a young lady who on the first day when we were doing the introductions was so scared that she almost doubled over as she introduced herself. Not only did she choose a difficult topic, 'Cashflow Management' . she presented as if she was a professional and did not show any of the fear or shyness of the first day. I felt proud knowing I had played a part in unleashing such potential.
The presentations varied from how to plant a tree, how to open a bank account, the importance and uses of Marijuana, registering a company to using light dimmers.
It got me thinking whether as skills development practitioners we really spend time to reflect on the impact we have on those we deliver training to? Do we really understand the power we have to enable others to unleash their hidden talent? Do we care enough to create a conducive environment in which our learners will be empowered enough to throw away their inhibitions and subsequently contribute in a meaningful way?
I know there are providers out there that truly care and want to make a difference but there are also those who are looking to make a fast buck and do not have the best interest of their learners at heart.
The lessons I learnt in that week were as follows:
As a facilitator I have the power to nurture hidden talent
As a subject
It is important to know that I can also learn from those that I am teaching others